Well, it was going to be a performance bargain.
With monotonous regularity, an automaker releases and exciting new car and dealerships mark them up for big dollop of extra profit. While we understand the free market and capitalism, it's incredibly frustrating. We've seen it with the Jeep Gladiator, the new Toyota Supra, and the Honda Civic Type R, for example. Up next for this runaround appears to be the C8 Corvette. And while some automakers care about the practice, Chevrolet appears to be ambivalent about it.
"We've encouraged our dealers to sell the vehicle at sticker price, but at the end of the day they're independent… we trust that they'll do the right thing," said General Motors executive vice president of the Americas Barry Engel when speaking to Muscle Cars & Trucks.
It's hard to tell where that sentiment is coming from. It could be a case of letting dealers get a bonus in a business with tight markups, or simply preferring dealers made the extra cash over private flippers. Or, we could be being overly cynical, and Chevrolet is actually acknowledging its dealers are independent and respecting that freedom to do business as they wish.
Whether you call it "market adjustment" or "price gouging," the result is the same. All 40,000 available models of the C8 Corvette being built are already accounted for in orders, so now the price is in the dealer's hands despite a base MSRP of just over $59,000. Thankfully, a group of Chevy Corvette enthusiasts is keeping a list of dealers that are planning to let the C8 generation leave the lot at MSRP. It's well-publicized, so hopefully, it encourages more dealers to play nice, but chances are it will still be abused by the private flippers. What we're hoping is that people are actually finally just not accepting the gauging and will simply wait until the initial excitement has died down.